My SO other does not agree with me communicating with my Ex

Don - posted on 10/21/2015 ( 12 moms have responded )

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Hello, I am looking for advice and potential suggestion. I am a father, unfortunately there are not comparable forums with the amount of wealth of knowledge than COM's. If I have offended anyone for signing up to attain help, please inform and I will leave immediately.

Here's my story and synopsis:
My current girlfriend, (SO) and I have been dating for almost 2 years. We are deeply in love. She has two kids previously, I have one 7 year old son.
My SO and I are understanding, patient, respectful, caring etc with each other as well as with our situations with our kids. We do keep the best interest for our kids in mind almost 100% of the time.
Yesterday, I went to my sons moms house to work on a scout project with my son and his mom. This project took us approx.. two hours of work and effort. When we completed for the evening I called my girlfriend to let her know I was on my home. She acted angry and continued to put me down about how I always do weird things for my son. I asked her what was weird, she said to go and hang out at my sons moms house to do this project. She then said that no one does this. She said if I were to tell all my friends about this they would all disagree with and think that is weird. I didn't want to say too much to her as I could tell she was angry about it, but didn't want to let it go as I could tell she was bothered about it. I feel it is important for us to communicate about the good and the bad, even if it is tough to talk about. I have only been over to my ex's house maybe five times in the last 4 months, and my SO was with me each time except for one time when I dropped my son off. My ex and I do not talk on a daily basis sometimes about once or twice a week and it is specifically about our son together and only via text. My SO does not agree that I should ever be around my ex, (with my son), she finds this weird. So, I know this bothers her and I respect her wishes, the only time I am with my ex is when we are exchanging our son, or at a scout or sports event. I know my SO hates my ex, but sometimes I wish she wouldn't be so negative about the situation and/or put me or my son down about it. In June of this year, my ex and I had a joint birthday party. My SO was upset that I would be around my ex, she made comments like, who would actually have a joint birthday with their ex, who would put their kids through this, who does these kind of things. The birthday was in a public place with extended family from both sides present. My SO could not be there because of a prior obligation.
My question is this, is my SO in the right to be concerned that I have spent time with my sons ex while we were partaking in an activity or event for our son? Is this common for ex parents to both be present with their kids? Is it common, if both ex's don't mind to have one or the other over at each others house, to partake together in their sons learning? I want to always keep my children first, but I also don't want to do anything to inflict hurt onto my girlfriend. What should I do? How should I address?

Last note, my ex and I are not friends, we are friendly to each other for the sole purpose of being civil for our child together. We do have a common understanding about not badmouthing each other in front of our son. I do not mind partaking in events with my sons mom involved. I do not mind if my SO is involved with her childrens ex's.

Thank you,
Don,

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♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/23/2015

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She needs to get off her high horse. Just because SHE cannot co parent with her exes doesn't mean that YOU should not.
She's indicated her intentions: That you not have the interaction. Were I you, unless she's willing to go to counseling, I'd leave it at that. She can go her way, unsuccessfully interacting with her exes, and you can go yours, have a successful co parenting relationship, and raise your boy.

Sarah - posted on 10/23/2015

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Beyond everything that has been said, and I may have missed this already being mentioned, could you and your GF from just a few counseling sessions where an impartial third party can help her explain her feelings and help you explain yours? Maybe it is insecurity on her part, and if she is insecure, then that is something you would wan to help her feel better about, right? Not just expect her to understand that this is for my son so suck it up? I am NOT saying you are doing anything wrong, in fact I think you spending time with your son and ex, in a calm platonic setting is terrific! However, if you really love this woman, and she has issues with insecurity, maybe there are ways you can help comfort her?
Sometimes just a little bit of therapy can work wonders; she can learn to tell you she feels scared and uncertain, and you can reassure her. I do NOT think you need to change your relationship with your ex or your child. That seems healthy, positive and productive! If your GF wants to stay in your life, she will learn to accept there will be times of involvement with your ex and that they do not impact your relationship not affect your feelings for her at all.

Ally - posted on 10/22/2015

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First, let me say I commend you for even giving this a thought! As an ex wife and mother of two, I get the ugly part of the new wife who also has kids with her ex. My ex husband is NOT allowed to speak to me, look at me or even say my name. Mind you, she came into his life 5 years after we separated. I have respected their life together by staying away and ignoring her condescending and hostile approach towards me. She hates me and I don't know why, but I'll let her deal with her issue. The problem is, and this is where you have to be very cautious; how much are you willing to risk your son's integrity for this woman? How far do you think she can go to stop you from being in your son's life because she can't deal with her jealousy? In my case, she was never put a stop to because my ex thinks she is in her right to feel the way she does about me, that she is standing her ground and that she's protecting their marriage...from what????? on the other hand, I think going to your ex's house to do projects and homework is crossing some boundaries. Unless the project is something you really can't do anywhere else, why don't you take him to a library, or a park to do it? If your SO can't make it, then at least she'll know your ex isn't around when your alone, if that is her concern. She might just be asking for a little respect, and she deserves it. Think about ways to still be a part of your son's life without disrespecting her or your son's mother.
My ex's wife has no respect whatsoever for me and as for her children, she has this perfect relationship with her ex and so does my ex! So her kids get to have so much fun with both of their parents, but mine have been restrained from it because of the tension there is when my name comes up or I am around. Double standards is what I would call it. Your son will always be your son, and for all you know your SO might leave you for the dumbest thing, so think about who is really worth your time and effort. I am not saying she's not, but at the end, your son will see what your priorities are, and believe me, he will always be appreciative of that.

Raye - posted on 10/21/2015

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I am a step-mom; my husband has 2 kids with his ex. He has planned birthday parties and invited their mother (as he should) and paid the way for her BF and his two kids (which is a bit much). We have all sat together at the kids recitals or sports games. I really can't stand the woman, but I am friendly to her because it wouldn't help matters any to be nasty. It would only hurt the kids. All parents (natural and step) should get along for the sake of the kids. My husband also does other things that I feel are above-and-beyond for his ex (letting her borrow money, fixing her car, etc.), but what he does is for the sake of the kids. If he can help her out, then she's happier, so the kids are happier. I am secure in our relationship and I know that he's not hooking up with her if he goes to her house. I think your GF needs to grow up a little and trust you. Sounds like you're trying to be a good dad.

I had a bit of a quandary just yesterday, as a matter of fact. Bio-mom came to pick up the kids, and I think had to use the restroom or something, so went upstairs. She then chastised the kids for not having their rooms clean. I felt it was inappropriate for her to tell them what to do IN OUR HOME. But I also felt good that she basically reinforced what I had told them the night before. I had a talk with my husband who didn't think it was a big deal, as they have similar rules in both houses and should be cleaning their rooms. But I felt it was not her place to assert her authority in our house. So, these things happen. You just need to talk about it and all need to know that what's being done is in the best interests of the children.

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Raye - posted on 10/23/2015

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If she has no co-parenting skills/history regarding her baby-daddies, then of course she's not going to recognize a good father and successful co-parenting when she sees it. Parents do for their kids, even when they, themselves, are uncomfortable with some aspects of it (like being around the ex). She will need to know that your child is a priority, and that you must have communication with and time around your ex to raise the child. Reassure her that she is also a priority, and you will try to limit your time around the ex. If you have to go to the ex's for your child, maybe send her a text saying "thinking of you", or "look forward to seeing you again", or something like that to make her feel more at ease. But really she should learn to deal with it. Maybe you could benefit from couples counseling to find out why she's so insecure and how you both can manage the responsibilities you have as a team.

MaryAnn - posted on 10/22/2015

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Where I am, even in the most civil coparenting situations, this is NOT normal. It is wonderful that you are comfortable doing that. However... Is it possible that in your comfort you have (through no ill meaning) not provided for your girlfriend's need for security in your relationship? Could she have been surpressing this, or not communicated her needs, focused more on feelings than resolutions, etc. And blown up in frustration? I've been there as the girlfriend.
Its fairly natural for her to feel insecure- remember, her boyfriend is intimately involved in another woman's life. Its not likely shes ever seen anyone deal with these types of insecurity in any positive way to have any frame work as to acceptable actions in response to it.
What we found to work for us was this: if he told me where he was going, what he was doing, an estimate on when I could expect him home, and a courtesy text if he was going to be late, I would feel respected and secure while he was (literally) with another woman. Another woman who I know he has a history with. Another woman who has proof they had sex. Another woman who would ALWAYS be in his life. Maybe there is other information she would like... Maybe a timeframe where the ex and child wont be brought up,call or text (like a weekly date night)... Talk.
As for blended parties... Again, even in civil families, its easy to feel like an outsider. Whether your girlfriend is there, or opts out because of her insecurities, she IS an outsider. Lay down the law. It happens either way. But try to include her. Ask her to make invitations, or cook that (insert great dish she makes) or to decorate... Obviously dont have her do it all, but a small contribution will help occupy her if and when things do get awkward, maybe it could start a conversation AT the party...
Its very easy for partners to look like power hungry controllers... And easy for them to become that way, because they are often left in the dark, left as outsiders, unincluded and forced to accept things being run that way without having any feelings or opinions or risk their relationships.
And its hard to see that because things have worked the way they do. Its your normal. Youre comfortable. It is not her normal, and it will take time for it to be her normal, and even more time for her to be comfortable.
Dont change things with your ex or your child, but please validate her feelings, and work on the homefront to help her feel secure-she needs that, and you'll be stronger for it.
"I WILL continue to spend time with my ex for the better of our child. It will be often, and it will be for the rest of my life. How can I help you feel secure in that I love you and that I am committed to our relationship?."

Don - posted on 10/22/2015

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Hello to all,

Thank you very much for your feedback and thoughts on this. Whether I agree or not with what has been stated, it is nice to hear others opinions and own experiences. This really is so logical. Bottom line is I need to discuss with my GF my concern. Which is of her concern, but be loving, patient, caring, respectful while doing so.

My GF is still having a hard time with me right now, she is not talking to me. I am giving her some room to be alone and think. She did tell me today that she spoke to her friends and each one agrees with her, I asked which part, she did not tell me. But then states she doesn't want to talk about it.
This is actually a little frustrating, I am very patient and understanding, looks like I need to wait it out for a day or two for her to calm down before we can discuss or not discuss.

To be fair my ex, sons mom, does give me a hard time, but I choose not to let it anger me or affect me negatively. So my current GF is frustrated that when my ex is mean to me or talks to me in a negative tone or speaks as if she is talking down to me it upsets my GF that one, my ex talks to me this way to someone she loves, and two, that I don't say anything back to start an argument or any kind of back and forth. My GF thinks I am a pushover My GF told me today that my ex stresses her out and that my GF doesn't know if she could handle my ex for the next 10 years.

I told her today for the several minutes we talked today that I'm not gonna let it bother me, and why would I want to be negative or mean back to her which could ultimately affect my son, our son. Our conversation ended quickly after this. My GF has ignored my text and calls today. But again I know she is upset, I'm not trying to paint a bad picture for her, she has so many great qualities, most importantly she is a fantastic mom and kind heart.

To answer questions:
GF does not speak to her exe's. She has two, the exe's are not good people as she states. There is no working relationship with her exes.


Thanks again ladies!

Ev - posted on 10/22/2015

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My question is this, is my SO in the right to be concerned that I have spent time with my sons ex while we were partaking in an activity or event for our son?_--There is no reason for her to be concerned about you and your ex being in the same place and time frame in activities or events where your son is concerned. She can not dictate what you do when you and the ex are doing things for the sake of your child together.--

Is this common for ex parents to both be present with their kids?---Its is common for both parents to be there for their kids.---

Is it common, if both ex's don't mind to have one or the other over at each others house, to partake together in their sons learning?--It is not a common thing but I am sure that a lot do this for the sake of their kids once again.

I want to always keep my children first, but I also don't want to do anything to inflict hurt onto my girlfriend.---You are not inflicting hurt on your girlfriend.

What should I do? How should I address?---You should remind her that you both agreed to be as close to 100 percent when it came to the kids. She is jealous...plain and simple. She is afraid that you will rekindle feelings with the ex. She has two kids so you would think she would understand a bit better than she is. She is not acting like a concerned parent towards your son. But she can not dictate things when it comes to your son and the things that involve him and that includes communication with his mom even if it is everyday no matter how you do that be it with texts, phone calls, or in person. I do not know of too many people that do what you and your ex do for your son. But I am glad to know that you both have worked it out. Your girlfriend needs to get off her high horse and deal because your ex and you have a child to raise until the age of 18. You did not say if she had any dealings with her children's father or not or how that works out. Apparently, she is not understanding what it takes for two parents to raise a child together like you are doing.

♫ Shawnn ♪♫♫ - posted on 10/22/2015

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First, Good job on co parenting! That is absolutely awesome that you and your ex CAN agree to get along for the sake of your son, and that it is comfortable enough that, when he does have a project (like scouts, very family oriented) that you can all work on.

Not to pry, but how is your SO's relationship with HER ex? Does she even communicate with him? Share custody? Sounds as if she's jealous of the steps that you and your ex have made towards parenting. If so, that's tough for her...and she really needs to grow up, ESPECIALLY if she's a mother herself. She should understand the importance of getting along and co parenting!

My suggestion to her (via you) is this: Get over yourself, sweetie. Your current partner has reached a successful co parenting relationship with his ex. Perhaps counseling is in order here. Yes, I'd be happy to say it directly to her as well. Her petty jealousy is threatening not only your relationship with your son, but also your relationship with her. Personally, I wouldn't want to BE in a relationship like the one you currently have. If the woman TRULY loved you, she'd NOT act like a 2 year old every time you and your ex have a successful co parenting interaction.

Again, GOOD JOB on the co parenting and having a successful relationship with your son and ex.

Dove - posted on 10/22/2015

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It sounds like you have a civil relationship w/ your ex for the sake of your son. If all divorced couples could do that then there would be a heck of a lot more stable kids running around these days.

Just Another - posted on 10/21/2015

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I don't think your husband should have to pay for his ex's BF.. what is wrong with the BF? I'd ignore the ex.... I guess she was trying to show you her parenting skills. Focus on your husband and your life. It sounds like you are very grounded.

Just Another - posted on 10/21/2015

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Here is my reply to you since my ex left when my son was 6 months old, and was remarried by the time he was 5. I had to deal with an SO... actually WIFE... until my son graduated from College, and then he died before their divorce was over... so that is the story in a nutshell.

Your SO is jealous. I dont know why. I had the same problem. My ex and I were NOT friends, and things got a little better after she was on her way out and child support was over.

I do not agree with your SO. I think she is ok when you are parenting together, but she is jealous and so every time you go to see your ex to work out issues with your son, which is totally NORMAL, you are going to have her to deal with. It will get worse. I know that my ex was told that he would have a divorce on his hands if he went to his oldest son's graduation some 400 miles away and I would be there. We had separate hotel rooms, but that did not stop this parade of chaos. He was not even allowed to stay for the graduation brunch.

Here is what I learned in all this time, KIDS REALLY DO NEED BOTH PARENTS! No one person can really raise a child alone because everyone gets tired, or sick, or something, and they need some down time, and if you are a single parent that is a luxury you DO NOT get.

This is solely your SO's own personal issue. You are not hurting her. She knew going into this relationship what she was dealing with... You did not hide it, but she loses control, and she does not want that to happen.

She has two kids of her own,,, doesn't she talk to HER ex? Unless she solely has legal and physical custody or at least sole legal custody, chances are that she will have to talk to her ex. This control might have broken up her first marriage. I think you need counseling before your relationship goes farther. If she is not willing, then you have to come to terms with what is going on because it is not going to get better. Your son's mother is going to be a part of your life for the REST of YOUR life.... and she has to cope with it- it sounds like she just wants her out of the way!

I dont think your SO's "list of complaints" is going to be much... she hung up on you. She did not want to talk about it. I think she is trumping up something when there is nothing there, and at the end of the day it is your fault. I am glad you are IN LOVE, but it is going to lose stamina if she keeps acting like this.

Nip this problem in the butt before it gets worse because it is better to split now than later for everyone's sake. My ex's marriage to his second wife lasted I think it was 15 years-- then she needed better, and he lied on a mattress on the living room floor in their house because she took all the money, and with the support and payments he was wiped out as he was dying of cancer.

There are red flags here... you need to take a step back and really look at this situation without the rose tinted glasses, and that is not easy to do. I don't want you to break up, but after so many years, the craziness has gone away and look back on it with a reality check. It is a huge mistake to not parent your child.

As a side note, the kicker was when my son was 9 yrs old, he was going to sing a solo and disparately wanted his dad to come listen. My son begged him to come to the school, and at the end of the day, my ex's wife put her 90 year old grandfather ahead of this little boys special performance to only make his dad proud of him. Instead, he went to the hospital to see this old me that got the priority, It was not a life or death situation that a loss of an hour or two would change... Your SO is total BS as far as I am concern, and you need to take the lead.

Today, my divorce in my son's eyes is my fault. He never could gain the approval of his father, and just as his father was coping with a 2nd divorce, and his father was coming around more to spend time with him, his cancer came back and he was gone in 2 months. My ex walked out... and I could not stop him. All he said was "I love you, but I am not IN LOVE with you anymore"

What he left behind is one angry young man who has gone off on his way, and I never see much anymore. Be there for your son.. put him first!

That is solely my own opinion.

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